I’m researching prices on sata ssd replacement drives in a couple of computers (waiting for the Memorial Day sales.) I have a question on drive capacity as it relates to the technology. Most of the brand name drives are listed (for my needs) at 500GB. Some of the store-brand drives are listed at 512GB. What is the difference? And don’t say 12GB!!!
Others are listed as 480GB and 240GB. Is there a difference in the underlying technology that accounts for the size variation? The newest, most popular, ssd are listed in the round numbers, i.e. 250GB, 500GB, 1TB. Does that mean the 512GB drives use older technology? Is there a reason to avoid the generic drives, or even the brand names, that have 512GB capacity?
Please read the fine print in the manufacturer spec sheet, there should be an explanation of what they mean by “GB”.
Then consider that SSDs have some spare capacity reserved for wear-out balance or bad cell replacement and we simply don’t know (in general) how much spare space they have reserved beyond advertised capacity; so I think that inferring technology or raw capacity from advertised capacity alone is useless.
Thanks to all for the answers. @karlmistelberger mentioned 3D-Nand TLC. That touched on what I thought. Perhaps, the size designation might have been related to the chip architecture or something and one designation meant a superior product. Now I see as @nrickert said: “it’s marketing.”
No one has mentioned the Hynix drives from Hyundai. The specs and performance are essentially equal to Samsung for about 10% lower cost. Samsung’s advantage seems to be the included software for cloning and monitoring.
Reported volume in MB/GB/TB depends on a used chips + reserved space + number of cell levels (1, 2, 3, 4).
Often 480 and 512 MB are MLC = 2 level cells (but Samsung tells 3 level cells are MLC), and 500 MB are TLC = 3 level cells.